The most common causes of hearing loss around the world are age and noise. Over time, our hearing naturally deteriorates; however, this process can occur a lot faster with frequent and prolonged exposure to loud noises. This is because loud noises force cells in the ear to work harder and faster. During exposure to loud sounds, the hair cells within our ears adjust to the increased volume by bending – it often takes a little while after this process for the hairs to straighten (you may notice that after a loud concert your hearing is slightly muffled). If the exposure is continued, the hairs may become overworked and damaged, and they may die. While you may think you have years before the damage becomes evident, hearing loss can creep up on you at any age. That’s why it’s important to protect your hearing right now – and here’s what you can do!
Avoid Noisy Settings
Minimise your exposure to loud settings to prevent damage to your ear’s hair cells. This is the simplest and easiest way to safeguard your hearing. That being said, this does mean having to forego some of the recreational activities many of us enjoy today – concerts, sporting events, and busy restaurants and clubs. Further, for many, loud noises are just an occupational hazard. This is especially true for those who work in construction who have greater risk of developing hearing loss as a result of noise exposure. When loud sounds are unavoidable, you can use the following step.
Wear Hearing Protection
Invest in good quality ear plugs and earmuffs to reduce and prevent damage from noise exposure. A good pair of either of these can greatly diminish the amount of sound waves travelling towards your ear. Keep a pair of ear plugs on you next time you go to a loud event and wear your protective earmuffs on the job if noise is a part of your role.
Lead a Healthy Lifestyle
Certain factors, such as smoking and obesity, can also impair your hearing. Unhealthy habits affect your hearing just as they affect the overall health of your body; they disrupt your hearing cells from functioning properly and therefore may impair your hearing. So, to maintain optimal hearing, the best thing you can do for your body is to eat a balanced diet and live an active lifestyle.
Safely Remove Ear Wax
Use gentle and safe methods for removing ear wax (using oils or water to flush out your ear) rather than attempting to physically remove the wax. Cotton tips (or other objects) can push ear wax further into your ear and cause blockage. This may result in you experiencing temporary hearing difficulty. At the end of the day, if you’re fed up with excess ear wax and any blockages, get a professional to have a look and safely remove your ear wax.
Get Your Hearing Tested Sooner Rather Than Later
If you’re experiencing hearing loss, it may not be as permanent or severe as you think. It could be as simple as a bit of ear wax build-up. On the other hand, if it is something more serious, leaving it unattended isn’t a great idea. A hearing test is painless, quick, and easy – and it’s the fastest way to resolve your hearing troubles. Book a test as soon as you start experiencing hearing loss to be on your way to better hearing.
Attune is Australia’s leading independent hearing healthcare provider. Our highly experienced audiologists and audiometrists provide high-quality care to all patients. Get your hearing tested with Attune today by calling 1300 736 702.